WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Justice Department is suing Georgia over the state’s new voting laws that officials allege discriminate against Black residents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the federal lawsuit Friday morning.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color in violation of section two of the Voting Rights Act,” said Garland at a DOJ briefing.
The legal action takes aim at the Election Integrity Act, or SB 202, which was passed in Georgia by the GOP-led legislature in March. The law requires voter identification with absentee ballots, limits ballot drop boxes, stops volunteers from giving away food and drinks to voters waiting in lines, revises times for advance voting, and more.
The lawsuit is one of several steps the DOJ is taking to tackle restrictive voting laws.
“This lawsuit is the first in many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and that every voter has access to accurate information,” said Garland.
The announcement comes two weeks after Garland said the Justice Department would scrutinize a wave of new laws in Republican-controlled states that tighten voting rules.
The action also comes as pressure grows on the Biden administration to respond to a wave of GOP-backed laws being pushed in the states this year following the 2020 election.